Watanabe signs deal with Memphis Grizzlies

Media Credit: File Photo by Ethan Stoler | Contributing Photo Editor

Former men's basketball guard Yuta Watanabe looks to pass the ball during a home game against Howard in November.

Former men’s basketball player and 2018 graduate Yuta Watanabe signed a two-year, two-way deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, general manager Chris Wallace announced Friday.

The Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year and 6-foot-9-inch guard will spend most of the 2018-19 season playing with the Grizzlies’ G-League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, CBS Sports reported.

Watanabe is coming off a successful campaign for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He saw action in all five games, averaging 24 minutes per contest. Watanabe also recorded an average of 9.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 blocks per game.

In his final season at GW, Watanabe started all 33 contests and led the team in points per game, total blocked shots, defensive rebounds per game and minutes played per game. His 147 career blocks rank the second highest in program history.

An athletic department spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Kagawa, Japan native’s signing marks the third consecutive year former Colonials have signed NBA deals. Last summer, 2017 graduate Tyler Cavanaugh signed a two-way deal with the Atlanta Hawks, and 2016 graduate Patricio Garino agreed to a deal with the San Antonio Spurs in 2016.

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